Debate Magazine

Sign This Petition: Congress Should Work 5 Days a Week!

By Eowyn @DrEowyn


A 2011 report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and Our Generation advocacy groups showed that members of Congress earn 3.4 times more than the average full-time American worker, and are among the highest paid legislators in the industrialized world.

The report compares congressional salaries and benefits with what private sector workers receive, and with those of foreign legislators.

According to the report, members of Congress receive an annual salary of $174,000 — which alone puts them in the highest-paid 5% of U.S. workers. They also, however, receive a host of additional benefits that put their total annual compensation at around $285,000. By comparison, the average full-time American employee earns just $50,875 annually. [Source]

According to the non-partisan organization No Labels, however, our well-paid “representatives” in Congress work only two days a week!

Founded in December 2010,, No Labels describes itself as “a growing citizens’ movement of Democrats, Republicans and everything in between dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving. No Labels promotes its politics of problem solving in three ways: by organizing citizens across America, providing a space for legislators who want to solve problems to convene and by pushing for common-sense reforms to make our government work.”

To that end, No Labels has a petition to demand that members of Congress work five days a week, just like everybody else. (Correction: It should be “Just like 6 out of 10 working-age adults in the U.S.” That’s because the U.S. labor force participation rate is at a historic low, with 4 of every 10 working-age adults not working. See “8+ million dropped out of U.S. labor force under Obama,” Jan. 26, 2013.)

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Here’s what the petition says:


Most Americans put in a five-day workweek. Yet in 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives scheduled only two weeks where it was in session for five days.

Of course, members of Congress need to travel back to their districts from time to time as part of their work, but a two-day work week is simply unacceptable.

To sign the petition, click here!


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